Questions tagged [translation]

Questions on specific points regarding translating Chinese to/from another language. Do your own research first!

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11 views

How to translate 'grade school 風紀/風紀員' into English?

When I was a grade school student in Hong Kong, some students in school would be assigned positions of duty or authority. For example, 班長 (class representative) , 行長 (roll leader) and 風紀(whose duty ...
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6answers
229 views

What does 委屈你了 mean in this situation?

Suppose your friend invites you to dinner. He prepares a dish that he knows is too spicy for you, but you're a good sport and try it anyway; it actually turns out to be quite tasty. He says 委屈你了. "I ...
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2answers
53 views

Where can I find word-for-word translation for “Beijing Huan Ying Ni” song?

I'm trying to learn Chinese by listening to music, and I've been listening to the Olympic song "Beijing Huan Ying Ni." But I don't know what the words mean. All the translations online are approximate ...
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1answer
31 views

How to distinguish between 都 dōu meanings

I am having some confusion about how can you accurately identify the meaning of 都 dōu in some sentences. I know this word has several meanings, for instance: It expresses "already" with the structure:...
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1answer
250 views

Why “mistreat” is translated as “三顿饭” by Google translate?

In Google translate, one of the Chinese translations of “mistreat” is “三顿饭”: What does “三顿饭” have anything to do with "mistreat"? Is it an idiom?
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2answers
145 views

What is the original quote of “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self"?

This is allegedly a "Zen proverb": “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self” I tried to look for it by searching on Google, but I could not find the original. What is the original text ...
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1answer
34 views

Definition order of adjectives of noun

黑小狗 means black puppy and 小黑狗 means small black dog, please correct me if I am wrong.
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2answers
50 views

播出,廣播,轉播 :哪裡不一樣?

So I'm studying the translation for broadcasting and three terms (well, excluding one, which I'll mention at the end) are given to me by a textbook. They are 播出, 廣播 and 轉播. For the life of me I ...
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1answer
95 views

Translation of Chinese Scroll and Seal

Is someone able to help translate the text (calligraphy?) and seal on this scroll? I had a go at translating the seal using guoxuedashi and http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/ but wasn't ...
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6answers
5k views

Why is Russia translated to 俄罗斯(E Luo Si)?

The Chinese Wikipedia article describes the name of Russia, and many of its historical Chinese exonyms. 按照俄语发音“Россия”,其名称应翻译为“羅西亚”。元朝时根据蒙古语译为「斡羅思」[b],到清朝初年许多文献中曾称为「羅剎」[c],但在以国家相称时则多译为「鄂羅斯」[d]或「...
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1answer
84 views

A joke involving 忆苦思甜

I ran into the following wordplay: That's your dad! [...] I heard he has two wives, one back in the countryside, and a new one. Why do you think one's called Sitian and the other is called Yiku? I ...
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2answers
82 views

Using 得 with past particle 了

I tried to translate this sentence: The man cleaned the bathroom cleanly. I thought it would be: 他把卫生间打扫得干净了。 but my Chinese friends said that this is a wrong sentence. I am wondering, Why is ...
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2answers
189 views

说你胖 你还喘上了 来劲儿了 how does this translate in english in this context?

I'm trying to figure out what the sentence in the title means in this context: A gang of punks has just beaten a retarded guy and another guy, who saw what was going on, tries to stop them but he ...
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9answers
7k views

What does 己所不欲, 勿施于人 mean?

I'm learning some of Confucius' sayings, and I've had trouble with this one: 己所不欲,勿施于人. I looked on a dictionary online, and it said both "do not do to others what you would not have them do to you" ...
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1answer
31 views

时量补语:modal and verb 了

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我们已经分别了十年了 and 我们已经分别十年了 , the question is regarding 了 in these sentences, should we put one or two 了? Thanks.
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1answer
44 views

How to translate equal weight and sector weight?

RYE (Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Energy ETF) equally weighs each stock. My attempt with Google Translate: RYE平均權衡每隻股票 SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) sector weighs each stock. My attempt: ...
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3answers
42 views

“Still better than” informal translation — X 还是比 Y 好 abbreviation

I want to say "X is still better than Y :)" in a kind of joking/offhand manner. This is just a simple text message, so I would further like to abbreviate it like: "still better than Y :)" My ...
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1answer
41 views

Position of 不 in Chinese

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我给你不买 and 我不给你买? Chinese grammar says we should put 不 in front of the preposition in these types of sentences... But I saw a lot examples when 不 ...
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3answers
59 views

中国有的地方都下雪了 some places in China

中国有的地方都下雪了 How may translate this sentence, why the translation is “some places are ...”? 中国有的地方都 means “all the places which are in China...”, doesn’t it? Thanks in advance.
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4answers
290 views

Which one is correct, “有名” or “受欢迎” for translating “comics are so popular in Japan”?

I want to say comics are so popular in Japan. According to Google Translate, the word "popular" doesn't translate to Chinese as "有名". It translates as "受欢迎" I am confused about which one is ...
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1answer
278 views

Are there different English words for the two types of caterpillar 毛虫 and 肉虫?

毛虫,肉虫,2 kinds of caterpillar, Wikipedia and 百度百科 both state that larvae of butterflies come in two varieties, 肉虫 and 毛虫 (in that order: 幼虫的形状多样,有肉虫,也有毛虫。), and there are plenty of pictures of both ...
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3answers
54 views

Is it okay to use multiple degree-intensifiers in a sentence?

I found this example sentence in Pleco's dictionary entry for 厲害 : 他的聲音真的很厲害。His voice is amazing. Why isn't 真的 included in the translation to make it "His voice really/truly is amazing"? More ...
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1answer
230 views

What are the markings found on a purple clay teapot?

I am trying to find information on this modern? Chinese purple clay tea pot. Can anyone translate this for me? Thank you
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1answer
51 views

What is the English translation of my chop? Is it right side up? [closed]

I bought calligraphy supplies in a Chinatown and talked with the owner of the store. I told the person (who had her uncle carve this) that I was an artist/painter. I also told her my name in English ...
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1answer
160 views

Meaning of a text on a teapot (Characters identified: 石泉槐火)

I have a teapot which has been in my family for about a century. Not knowing the Chinese language I tried to make something of the five characters text which is marked on it. With Google Translate I ...
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2answers
52 views

How would we more accurately translate 那胸前凸起的完美弧度 (published translation: “perfect curve of the convex in front of her chest”)?

Reddit's /r/MenWritingWomen laughed at this awful-sounding description of a female character's appearance (original translation): Her long and thin eyebrows, water-like eyes, tall and beautiful ...
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8answers
2k views

How do I self-answer “What does this say?”

We get a lot of translation requests at Chinese.SE, and while we'd like to help, there's sometimes very little about the Chinese language in the question, and a lot about the procedure for obtaining ...
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1answer
679 views

What language is this and what does it say? (Characters identified: 下角)

This is stamped on the bottom of pieces of a tea set (cups, saucers, tea pot,etc) my father bought for his mother during WWII. I believe he purchased it in Shanghai prior to 1945. Can someone please ...
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1answer
46 views

Does a good equivalent of “pitch” not exist?

I've been wondering if there is a good Chinese equivalent of the word pitch. Pitch is short for sales pitch and it is another term for a sales presentation (presentation, another word without a good ...
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5answers
215 views

Is 老鸽 (lit. “old pigeon”) slang?

I've seen some cases (in stories, on the internet) where people call each other '老鸽'. As the literal meaning 'old pigeon' doesn't make much sense, I think it's slang but I haven't been able to find ...
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0answers
52 views

How to rhyme (押韻) when translating poetry?

I found the following traslation of Psalm 1:3-4 of the Bible amazingly elegant: 譬彼林木、植於溪旁、隨時結果、其葉青蒼、百事允臧、維彼惡者、猶之粃糠、爲風飄揚。 English (KJV): And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the exact meaning and etymology of 拜年?

Since Chinese New Year is on the way (and thanks to Xiaohouzi's great suggestion), I've been thinking all about the new year. One term the sticks out is 拜年. I'm very curious to know the exact meaning,...
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3answers
600 views

The mysterious role of 占 in 对占人口绝大多数的民众来说,还是觉得有钱应该省着花

I know that 占 means "to occupy/to take up". But in this following sentence, I can not figure out what it adds to the meaning as a whole: "对占人口绝大多数的民众来说,还是觉得有钱应该省着花" If I take "zhan" away, would ...
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1answer
334 views

Please help identify traditional Chinese painting

I've inherited a Chinese cloth painting from my ancestors. I'd be grateful if you could help me know more about the artwork through the signature and seal. (Full artwork)
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4answers
322 views

How to say “she short changed me” (without negative conotation)?

For example, if I went to the bank to withdraw money from my account and my account showed I took out $50, but the bank teller only gave me $40. I don't want to imply the bank teller was trying to ...
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4answers
113 views

What does 天將降大任於斯人也,必先苦其心志 mean?

"天將降大任於斯人也,必先苦其心志" seems to be a saying by 老子 or 孟子. Could someone provide a literal translation + what the saying means?
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2answers
131 views

How to write and structure a modern professional follow-up email like a native Chinese speaker?

I'm interested in how the modern professional email structures differ between Chinese and English. I'd like to create a go-to template/structure that can convert what native English speakers ...
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2answers
559 views

What is written in this satellite photograph? (Characters identified: 忠于毛主席)

What is written in Chinese at this location 40.449787, 116.548828 on Google maps? Tried using translators. But didn't find any feasible answer for this. I used Google translator and wrote these ...
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3answers
115 views

How do you “know about things” in Chinese? What's the easiest or most common way?

我对中国的地理知识还了解得不太多。 This is quite a complex way to say "I don't know too much about geography of China". How do you say it easilier? I'm sure you can use both 知道 or 了解. But is 对 the only correct ...
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2answers
119 views

What does “格” mean in “爾國臨格”?

Matthew 6:10 of the Bible is translated as the following in the Delegates Version: 爾國臨格、爾旨得成、在地若天、 The context was Jesus was teaching how to pray and gave an example of a prayer. I fail to ...
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2answers
149 views

Verify/correct my sentence: 虽然 我喜欢去露营, 我不没时间去最近 还有我没有有人去跟。

I tested my simple translation skills and searched for an example English complex sentence on the internet...can someone judge my translation of this: Although I like to go camping, I haven't had ...
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2answers
88 views

Please help translate my Chinese seal chop (Characters identified: 詩思妮)

While on a recent trip to Shenzhen, China, I came across a booth selling Chinese Chops. I had one made for me. The artist asked me to write my name down, CECILE, and he made me this chop. Since he ...
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8answers
121 views

What is the correct way to ask “How do I get to your school” in Mandarin?

Here my focus is to understand the correct usage of 怎么走 and 到. The English sentence is, "How do I get to your school". This is in terms of asking the directions to reach the school. I found three ...
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3answers
122 views

Colloquial Translation: Dynamics

It seems that a lot of colloquial English terms are actually seen to be quite formal or academic in Chinese. In English we have the term dynamics as in: group dynamics, social dynamics, ...
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1answer
179 views

How is the quality of Google's automatic “translation” for single words?

In Google you can put in a word and it will give you the English on the right hand side with "translation" and explanation. So let's take 半挂货车 for instance. It gives me back: Semi-trailer truck ...
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4answers
902 views

What is the translation for “generic brand”?

How does one translate "generic" brand. I've come across several translations: 通用牌子, 一般的牌子,杂牌。 But none of them really demonstrate a generic brand. The first one just means common, the second one ...
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2answers
626 views

Help me translate the red signature seal on this picture?

I inherited these pictures from my grandmother who bought them in China in 1980-81. I have had a difficult time trying to translate the red artist signature seals. I have tried image translator app, I ...
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0answers
50 views

Completely stuck reading Chinese seal script (Character identified: 壽) [duplicate]

I am trying to decipher what this belt plaque says and am having no luck. I do not know Chinese in the first place and have only just familiarised myself with radicals. This being said the search has ...
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1answer
52 views

Translation/meaning of 叫阮的名 song by 巫啟賢 [closed]

What is the meaning/translation of the song lyrics. I grew up listening to this song and it brings me great memories. However, I do not know Hokkien. If you are willing to share or point me to a ...
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2answers
128 views

Am I interpreting this correctly? 凡物只所持,不外乎三种,神念、灵气、元血。只是,一旦错了。就不知会如何了。

I'm reading a web novel called "凤凰仙尊,刁妻萌娃好难训." There's a sentence which confused me, so I hope someone could tell me if my interpretation's already correct. 凡物只所持,不外乎三种,神念、灵气、元血。只是,一旦错了。就不知会如何了。 I ...

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